USSSA National Championship Shoes: Sweden’s Icebugs to Top Medalists

Now a new reason to get those snow-miles of training in before the 2015 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships, February 27-March 1, 2015, race in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Eight National winners ace a pair of iconic Icebug shoes! snowshoe icebug several sorts collageFrom deep in Gothenburg territory, this Swedish shoe company—since 2001—supplies the world with active footwear to wear on slick surfaces . . . like ice . . . and snow; you know those? Slip and go boom? Using an original rubber fabricated for traction combined with “smart studs”—no, not brainy good-looking guys—but rather little traction devices whose purpose allows a user to walk, for lack of a better word, normally on ice meaning all vertical, no horizontal. That’ll sure torque the jaws of the Frost Giants for sure; they conspire to spill you on your kazoo. Icebug just says, “No.”

SORIX Icebugs are mean to extreme cold!

SORIX Icebugs are quite mean to extreme cold!

For an active frosty living, where one can walk like a summer’s day in winter paradises such as Vail, Quebec City, or Eau Claire, what better way to go? A new concept from Icebug: style and functionality.

Now they’re bugging the shoe world by reporting their magic footwear outruns other brands on wet and dry surfaces, too. That means one can have their dry and wet it, too. Icebug is a name one will want to adhere to, meaning go buy a pair unless you’re one of the eight national winners at the USSSA Nationals.

Expect to see Jennifer Chaudoir at Eau Claire 2015

Expect to see Jennifer Chaudoir at Eau Claire 2015.

Then if you are a national winner, plan on buying them for the entire family because everyone will covet yours. Finally! There’s an advantage for finishing last!

Note to Icebug: fire up the AGA cookers and cobble a lot of shoes, there’s an avalanche of orders headed your way once frigid-sports crazies, such as extreme snowshoers and winter endurance racers, uncover your discovery, along with we mortals also.

Possessing a pair of Icebugs, one can begin to experience the IcebugXperience. Choose Off Trail, Trail Running, Active and my favorite, Subzero. Try the Sorix model for those Arrowhead 135 treks or the Iditarod Trail Invitational; good for -40 degrees centigrade. Call it gelid air. Then there are the Ryum Icebugs for minus temperatures with 1-Speed BUGrip BlackVelcro snaps, perfect for the Tuscobia Winter Ultras or Winnipeg’s Actif Epica. You choose your temperature, Icebug chooses the correct shoe; who else has ever done that for we I-live-like-a-popsicle addicts?

RYUMs for ice or icy walkways.

RYUMs for ice or icy walkways.

While doing your homework on Icebugs check out their feature guide, which is a study in Swedish thinking: easy to understand but with surprises you would not expect. Find that torsion, drop, cushioning, and the last width you need. Then choose the shoe or boot fitting your combo. Hit send and Icebug supplies it. And you’re waiting for what? Oh, yes, you’re gonna win the USSSA Nationals. Well, what about the time between now and then? There is a concept called “injury prevention” in case you haven’t considered that possibility.

If choosing to race in the newest summer sport combining running and swimming, call it “swimrun,” Icebug is your go-to provider of the shoe conquering slippery rock traipsing, creating a fun sport vs. a journey on your can in bad water. No, that’s not the summer Badwater 135, one of the more extreme events out there. One can argue that the Arrowhead 135 runs tougher, though they’re both way, way out there. Somewhat like the gap between Icebug and the rest of the field.

Quebec City's Winter Carnival celebrates snow like no tomorrow

Quebec City’s Winter Carnival celebrates snow like no tomorrow.

Icebug says, “Swimrun is growing rapidly in Sweden, and Icebug has just the right shoes to cope with both the slippery rocks and winding paths.” That depiction reverberates with the sounds of the Zumbro 100 raced in the Spring of Minnesota.

Many of these superb snowshoe athletes compete throughout the United States and internationally like the upcoming 2015 ISSF World Snowshoe Championships presented by the Atlas Snow-Shoe Company in Quebec City Canada.1-Running sole studded

There is an added element of excitement when a USSSA National Team Member races an event you have entered. Observing their skill and athleticism while enjoying such bubbling personalities remains a winter honor.

Thanks to the USSSA for bringing Swedish technology in the form of Icebugs to Wisconsin; it’s almost like they’re back home.


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About the author

Phillip Gary Smith

Phillip Gary Smith, Senior Editor, published "The 300-Mile Man" about Roberto Marron's historic doubling of the Tuscobia 150 mile endurance snow run. He publishes "iHarmonizing Competition" on various forms of competition, including drag racing, his favorite motorsport. Earlier, he wrote "HARMONIZING: Keys to Living in the Song of Life" as a manual for life with chapters such as Winning by Losing, Can God Pay Your Visa Bill?, and a young classic story, The Year I Met a Christmas Angel. His book, "Ultra Superior," is the first written on the Superior Trail ultra-distance events. He mixes writing with his profession--the venture capital world--a dying art. He is a creator of CUBE Speakers, a group espousing themes in "HARMONIZING: Keys" in a unique way. Currently, he has two books in the works.
Write to him at, or find him on Twitter or Facebook @iHarmonizing.

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